You’ve worked hard and funneled your love of art into the ‘Film’ to gain privileged access to one of the esteemed Guilds. That’s why the Guilds are there, to set the bar high, and keep our quality of storytelling diverse and enthralling. Recognizing advancements in techniques and caliber where it’s due. On one hand it seems elitist, but there is a reason you worked so hard to earn yourself the A+ of filmmaking.
Real Hollywood Professionals are in the Guilds
Once you’ve earned a place in the ranks of recognized quality, style, and craftsmanship it’s no easy task to keep up the pace. Being a guild member of the WGA, PGA, DGA, or SAG is no guarantee of further work because you just got in. You’ve added to Hollywood letters your resume, but are you using it? You’re waiting for your next freelance gig, when is it going to come? All of a sudden your name that was on the tip of the tongue of every ad and talent agency, is ebbing away as the change of guard sets in.
The Changing of the Guard Directly Affects your Networking
A new executive moves in after three years of your prime time of being in the network, and this person doesn’t even know your name, or what you did in years past. Hollywood is fickle like that, the next director is flavor of the month and when you’re not, you can be forgotten very easily when studio executives move on, and they frequently do – that’s what every job is in the modern age, people rarely stick around for more than a couple years.
Reasons for Cowering from Social Media
When social media could be the next way to stay in touch and keep your name under their noses is that something you should consider? Here are the common reasons I hear why Guild members won’t dare:
- All of a sudden your exposed presence in social media feels like a crowd of zombies going for you. No offence to the masses, but 99.99% of the people now able to talk to you have no clue what your career path is based on, and entertaining anything more than a polite ‘thanks’ sucks the life and time out of you. Social networks can be either addictive if you get it, or plain repetitive.
- Most people actually don’t get that you may not work every calendar week, once you’re on social media everyone is looking at what you’re doing now, and it’s a bad assumption by most if you’re not on a gig.
- You worked your butt off to get into the Guild, and you’re paying your dues whether you earn it back again to ensure you are ‘insured’, ‘protected’, etc. Now it seems you might be networking with all the other foxes hungry to get the work when you’re barely at the beginning of boasting your name. That must feel pretty scary – being up to your peer’s scrutiny?
- MOST creatives, are actually pretty insecure about the way they present themselves online, and how they are perceived. They’re almost publically phobic, and I don’t mean that in the stronger sense of the paranoid adjective. Regardless of who you are, putting out comments representing your personal ‘brand’ will be daunting to the more introvertly inclined. Lets face it you might actually suck at being social.
- Finally, you want to protect your image, once you put yourself out there, it seems like every wannabe is glomming onto your profile and making you feel like they’re taking you down with it. Don’t get all defensive now, you were there once (maybe), everyone tries to literally ‘break-in’ to your industry by thinking you’re the back door. Quite possibly you are just as much on the fringe of the Guild far away from the elite percentile that gets most of the work and still feel like you’re breaking in.
Actors seem to do better at social media
But that’s ok! Why do you think our diva friend actors and actresses who love the limelight seem to do better at social media? They work so hard at promoting themselves on every channel and do seem more adept broadcasting their latest headshot, or what casting they went on.
Our self marketing must never be neglected or allowed to rely solely on word of mouth. I also urge you filmmakers, producers, and film peeps not to try and sound like a celebrity. (I’m not labelling actors here, 98% of actors are not celebrities they just have a career!) Copying those that already have the massess glomming onto their profiles is copying bad behaviour, people don’t trust it, and you have to build a trustworthy profile.
Your Social Media Profile, is the modern day Creative Resume
The phone can stop ringing very fast, and it’s all too easy even while you’re working to get complacent about persisting to keep finding work.
Just keep an effort to stay neutral, light, bright and content rich showing all manner of your creatively in snippets. Your social media resume will be out there as a constant reminder just in case the young ‘promoted to inept’ executive steps in, and at least this person didn’t even have to search too hard to find you because now you’re in easy reach.
About the Author
Juliana has a successful career in Online Reputation managing film career profiles from a Los Angeles Line Producer to Marketing Film Production Services for Film Budgeting. You can follow one of her production creative profiles on Twitter @JulianaReedLA